NEWS
Daphne Caruana Galizia: Life and career of murdered Maltese journalist
17 Oct 2017
BY KYRA MCNAUGHTON

Daphne Caruana Galizia_Malta

Daphne Caruana Galizia was a Maltese journalist and blogger known for her investigative reporting on controversial and sensitive information.

Fifteen days after filing a police report that she was being threatened, Caruana Galizia was killed when the car she was driving exploded.

“We strongly condemn the violent killing of investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia. We urge the Maltese authorities to swiftly and thoroughly investigate the circumstances to bring the perpetrators to justice,” Hannah Machlin, project manager of Mapping Media Freedom, said.

Caruana Galizia ran her own news blog, Running Commentary. The site sometimes attracted as many as 400,000 readers a day (Malta’s population is just around 420,000). Her blog relentlessly exposed corruption among Malta’s politicians. It became the focal point of many legal battles, including multiple libel suits.

In August 2017, opposition leader Adrian Delia filed a lawsuit against Caruana Galizia over stories linking him with offshore accounts connected to sex work in London. She accused Delia of money laundering, claiming that around £1 million earned from prostitution in London flats was being processed through Delia’s Barclays International account in Jersey. Delia filed five libel suits against Caruana Galizia.

Caruana Galizia also published a series of articles accusing Silvio Debono, owner of real estate investment company DB Group, of making a deal with the Malta government to take over a huge area of public land to build a Hard Rock Hotel and two towers of flats for sale. In March 2017 Debono filed 19 libel cases against Caruana Galizia.

When Galizia reported in February that Economic Minister Chris Cardona and EU presidency policy officer Joseph Gerada visited a brothel in Germany while on official business, four precautionary warrants froze her assets. Each politician also filed two civil suits against her.

In January 2016, lawyers requested that Caruana Galizia reveal confidential sources, one of which claimed that the energy minister was seen kissing his communications coordinator. The minister’s lawyers questioned her “professional capacity as a journalist”.

Caruana Galizia was the first to report that Malta’s government minister Konrad Mizzi and chief of staff Keith Schembri were connected to the Panama Papers leak. Her involvement in history’s biggest data leak named her among Politico’s “28 people who are shaping, shaking, and stirring Europe”.  

In March 2013 she was arrested for discussing politics on the internet during “day of silence,” a day in which no one in Malta is allowed to publish anything that may have an effect on voters or voters’ intentions. On her blog post recounting the experience: “It was obvious to me that they had come with a warrant of arrest to have an excuse to keep me locked up until tomorrow and away from the internet, literally physically preventing me from writing.”

Caruana Galizia was born in Sliema on the northeast coast of Malta in 1964. She attended the University of Malta and graduated BA in archaeology in 1997. She began her career as a columnist for the Sunday Times of Malta in 1987 and later became the Associate Editor of The Malta Independent.

One of her sons, Matthew Caruana Galizia, was part of the team that broke the Panama Papers.

Austria: A nation shrouded in secrecy

In an email sent to all regional police departments on 24 September 2018, Austria’s Ministry of the Interior suggested limiting communication with “certain media outlets”, including the weekly news magazine Falter and the daily newspaper Der Standard

No impunity: Who killed journalist Pavel Shemeret?

Before his death, Pavel Sheremet was one of Ukraine’s leading investigative journalists. He most notably investigated government corruption and border smuggling in his native Belarus, leading to his arrest in 1997 but winning him CPJ’s International Press Freedom Award in the process. He was detained, harassed and arrested because of his work. Then, in 2016, he was assassinated. And Ukrainian authorities still have not uncovered who’s to blame.

Maltese journalist Caroline Muscat continues in the spirit of her murdered colleague Daphne Caruana Galizia

On 16 October 2017 Malta’s most important investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia was murdered in Malta. Three men will stand trial for carrying out the crime but the masterminds remain untouched, rendering Malta an unsafe place for independent journalists. Journalist Caroline Muscat refuses to get distracted by that.

Too dangerous to stay: Russia’s journalists are leaving the country

A country with the largest territory in the world and a turbulent modern history, Russia is home to one of the most difficult media landscapes. Independent media has been around for less than three years, and in that time censorship has been tightening its grip with new-found strength.

Kyra McNaughton

Kyra McNaughton

Kyra McNaughton is an intern at Index on Censorship and a third-year student at American University in Washington, DC, where she studies journalism and political science.
Kyra McNaughton

Comments are closed.